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Ripley’s Game | [Patricia Highsmith]

Ripley’s Game

Living on his posh French estate with his elegant heiress wife, Tom Ripley, on the cusp of middle age, is no longer the striving comer of The Talented Mr. Ripley. Having accrued considerable wealth through a long career of crime—forgery, extortion, serial murder—Ripley still finds his appetite unquenched and longs to get back in the game.
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Publisher's Summary

With its sinister humor and genius plotting, Ripley's Game is an enduring portrait of a compulsive, sociopathic American antihero.

Living on his posh French estate with his elegant heiress wife, Tom Ripley, on the cusp of middle age, is no longer the striving comer of The Talented Mr. Ripley. Having accrued considerable wealth through a long career of crime—forgery, extortion, serial murder—Ripley still finds his appetite unquenched and longs to get back in the game.

In Ripley's Game, first published in 1974, Patricia Highsmith's classic chameleon relishes the opportunity to simultaneously repay an insult and help a friend commit a crime—and escape the doldrums of his idyllic retirement. This third novel in Highsmith's series is one of her most psychologically nuanced—particularly memorable for its dark, absurd humor—and was hailed by critics for its ability to manipulate the tropes of the genre. With the creation of Ripley, one of literature's most seductive sociopaths, Highsmith anticipated the likes of Norman Bates and Hannibal Lecter years before their appearance.

©1974 Patricia Highsmith. © 1993 by Diogenes Verlag AG, Zurich (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (148 )
5 star
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4.0 (126 )
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4.3 (126 )
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  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 12-20-12
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 12-20-12

    A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant and disconcerting at the same time"

    While this is probably my favorite Highsmith/Ripley novel so far, it is also the most unsettling. She manages - by introducing a new counter-Narrator (Jonathan) - to make Ripley's amorality seem even more fragile and desolate. Jonathan's wife Simone also stands as an interesting counter-spouse to Heloise. Throughout the novel the twisting and sometimes converging tales of Ripley and Jonathan seem like spinning endless images mirrors. Each narrator reflecting the existential, blood-splattered flatness of the other. It was brilliant and disconcerting at the same time.

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily 09-10-12
    Emily 09-10-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Narration!"
    What could Patricia Highsmith have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I love these books but there are times that the plot is so unbelievable that I get very uncomfortable. I know that Ripley is a sociopath but he takes risks, particularly in this book, that make no sense at all. Killing for reasons that have nothing to do with him and which have no chance for profit or preservation. And yet he is loveable and you identify with him and don't want him to get caught.


    What about Kevin Kenerly’s performance did you like?

    Kenerly is my favorite narrator to date. He speaks french, does different accents. His voice is soothing. When he is speaking for women he doesn't do a drag queen voice like some books I've listened to. His performance is invisible with no irritations to remind you that you are listening to a book instead of reading it. I believe he is the reason I have purchased this entire series.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes. The first book made a wonderful movie so why not film all of them?


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wowziewoo Maryland 08-17-12
    wowziewoo Maryland 08-17-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Back for thirds"
    What did you love best about Ripley’s Game?

    That it wasn't just Tom Ripley anymore - now we have Trevinie to learn about also. I loved that the story is told from two different intersecting points of view.


    What other book might you compare Ripley’s Game to and why?

    No clue.


    Which character – as performed by Kevin Kenerly – was your favorite?

    Jonathan. He's not a killer (well, that's debatable). He's a regular guy - a regular guy just like Tom used to be? And it's fun to listen to his torment as he's dragged through the book.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Maybe when Jonathan watched Reeves demonstrate how to use the garrote on the bedpost.


    Any additional comments?

    I wasn't sure Highsmith could keep it interesting for a third book, but she did. The two points of view lets us get to know Jonathan and see how he's sucked into horrible things by Tom.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Parola138 United States 12-18-12
    Parola138 United States 12-18-12 Member Since 2005

    We bite

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    "I am a person who doesn't do series books"

    I was enamored with the first Ripley book. The second one was just ok, but was still entertaining enough to make me wonder what would flesh out in a third book. I am glad I have continued with the series. In this third book, Ripley gets a little more confident and cocksure of what he is. It is a big departure from the timid, manic Ripley in the first book. This book, oddly, has an almost Batman feel to it as he befriends a man and they go after the Mafia. I enjoyed this book and look forward to completing the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcus SHOEMAKERSVILLE, PA, United States 09-21-12
    Marcus SHOEMAKERSVILLE, PA, United States 09-21-12 Member Since 2010

    Willy Wonka of it

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another standard Ripley tale"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Only if they're into the series. This isn't a bad book, but it's not terribly compelling either.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The telling of the tale from 2 sides was interesting.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Isn't this a spoilery question? Well, if I had to answer, it would probably be the scene on the train platform (outside the bathroom)


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not really.


    Any additional comments?

    It's Ripley... same ole' bumbling through murders mostly clueless and somehow getting away.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Gifford, IL, United States 01-30-12
    Rob Gifford, IL, United States 01-30-12 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "crazy!"
    If you could sum up Ripley???s Game in three words, what would they be?

    It's crazy but I find myself liking this sociopath! I even become half convinced that he has no other choice but to kill and that the victims deserve it. So far this is my favorite one out of the series but I still have two more to listen to. I can't put them away but find myself listening to them when I should be doing other things.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    daniel Hamlin, WV, United States 04-30-12
    daniel Hamlin, WV, United States 04-30-12 Member Since 2010

    I am a D-Bag.

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    "Not enough Tom?"

    Spent to much time with other characters. Not as well developed as the first two. One question I thought Tom was a bi-sexual? Maybe I thinking about the movie. Can anyone listen to this book and not see Tom as Matt Damon? In the end Part III is worth the cash or credit. Tom is still one cool B@stard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janels 02-29-12
    Janels 02-29-12
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    "The most civilized and engaging of killers"

    It is somewhat disturbing how it is so easy to, not only like a killer, but slip into his mindset and actually justify his murders. As seems to be my custom, I tend to read a series of books backwards--I start with the latest, then work backwards. I love psychological thrillers, and ended up loving these books, but don't really consider them "thrillers". In fact, there isn't much of a plot to the two books I have read; but it is a mind game. And, I suppose that is what Ripley's game is, a life of smoke and mirrors.

    I actually thought the series must be written by a Brit, as Ripley seems about as American as Colin Firth. You could possibly rationalize the tea, cheers, calling raincoats "Macks",ending sentences with questions, and all the other "Briticisms" if he were highly born and educated, but not the case. Other Americans seem to always be portrayed more crudely, as one would expect of a British author. Then I did some research on the author, and find that, not only is she from the US, but deceased, having been born in the 20s, I believe.

    In spite of it all--the lack of thrilling plot or action, the superficial life of Ripley and his wife, who even sleep in separate bedrooms, and the unlikely portrayal of Ripley as an American--it is totally engaging, and I get lulled into each of the tales, fascinated by the character.

    It is too bad the author cannot produce any more of these gems; she could have a good time with some of the modern technology in the stories. I never could get into Dexter; but Tom Ripley is charming.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Minor Indiana/USA 08-30-13
    P. Minor Indiana/USA 08-30-13 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excrutiatingly slow and pointless"

    I wasn't able to finish this 3rd book in the series. I was never really able to get any feel for the personalities of the characters or what the point of the story was. I stopped about half way through as my mind kept wandering off.

    And the narrator has been an issue in all of the books so far. His constant mispronunciation of every word ending in a "g" drove me nuts.
    I had bought the entire series when it was on sale but it doesn't look I will be finishing it.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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